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Thoughts on a 5-0 Rangers win

Yu the Man.

Rick Yeatts

Rangers 5, Twins 0

  • Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!
  • Hey, a winning streak...that's two in a row the Rangers have won.
  • Yu Darvish was great today.  He allowed singles to three of the first seven batters he faced, then retired 20 of the final 22 Twins who came up.  After getting out of a two on, one out situation in the second unscathed, Yu never seemed close to being in trouble the rest of the way.
  • This was one of those games where Yu seemed to spend the first few hitters getting calibrated -- he started off throwing a first-pitch ball to the first three hitters he faced -- before locking in and putting it into cruise control.  Yu's final line was 8 IP, 4 hits, 1 walk, 10 Ks, and 0 runs allowed.  He was at 110 pitches after 8 innings, and if he'd needed to, I suspect he could have gone back out for the 9th.
  • Evan Grant tweeted that Joakim Soria was warming up in the bottom of the 8th inning, but after the Rangers scored 3 runs to make it a 5-0 game, Ron Washington turned to Neal Cotts to finish it out.  I'm assuming that's because Wash didn't want to use Soria, who threw 32 pitches yesterday, in a 5 run game.  In any case, Cotts got the final three outs in uneventful fashion.
  • This was Yu's 25 10-K game, giving him the second most 10 strikeout starts in team history.  There's a good chance he will pass Nolan Ryan, the only Ranger in front of him, by the end of next season.
  • The Rangers had their first baseman hitting 3rd today, and their DH hitting 5th.  That's not unusual.  However, their first baseman was Carlos Pena and their DH was Donnie Murphy.  Having Carlos Pena and Donnie Murphy hitting 3rd and 5th isn't ideal.
  • Of course, they still won today.
  • Chris Gimenez doubled home Adrian Beltre for the first run of the game, in the bottom of the second inning.  I initially thought Beltre was going to be thrown out at home, but Pedro Florimon's relay throw home was one of the worst throws I've ever seen...even though he was throwing home from shallow center field, the ball almost ended up in the dugout on the first base side.
  • Elvis Andrus brought the second run of the game home in the third, when Rougned Odor broke on contact from third and scored on a ball that didn't appear to travel thirty feet...Twins starter Phil Hughes didn't even try to get Odor, throwing Elvis home at first.
  • The final three runs came home in the bottom of the 8th.  After Shin-Soo Choo and Elvis Andrus led off the inning with back-to-back singles, Carlos Pena hit an infield grounder that got Choo, who was going on contact, caught off of third base.  Choo stayed in a rundown long enough to allow Pena and Elvis to end up on second and third, which led to Adrian Beltre being intentionally walked.  Luis Sardinas pinch hit for Donnie Murphy, putting down a suicide squeeze that brought Elvis home safely, and then Leonys Martin doubled home Beltre and Pena for the final five run margin.
  • Think about that...Sardinas, the glove-first 21 year old shortstop who should be in AA right now, was asked to hit for the team's DH and #5 hitter with the bases loaded in a close game in the 8th inning.
  • I expected Alex Rios, who was getting the day off, to hit for Murphy in that situation, and was surprised Wash went with Sardinas.  I guess he just wanted to get the bunt down to get the runner home, making Sardinas a better option than Rios, but still...
  • Among the starters, only Murphy and Pena didn't record a hit today.  Adrian Beltre had three hits, and Shin-Soo Choo and Leonys Martin had a pair apiece.